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OpenMarket: Banking and Finance

  • Promise and Pitfalls of Treasury Fintech Report

    October 10, 2018

    July 31st, 2018, was one of the most exciting days for financial technology regulation in recent memory. Around 10 a.m. that morning was when the long-awaited Treasury report on nonbank financials, fintech, and innovation was released, outlining the White House’s position on fintech and nonbank regulation. Then around 2 p.m. that same afternoon, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced that they would begin accepting applications for the much anticipated “fintech” charter.

  • Five Western States Will Vote on Energy Questions on November Ballots

    September 30, 2018

    Five western states have initiatives or referendums on energy issues. They include increasing renewable energy mandates, instituting a carbon tax, restricting oil and gas production, and repealing a gas tax increase. Here is a brief summary of each with links to recent news stories.

  • Congress Should Stay out of Sports Betting Regulation

    September 20, 2018

    For the first time in twenty-five years, Americans can legally wager on the outcome of sporting events outside of Nevada. Thanks to a Supreme Court decision in May that deemed a federal law banning states from legalizing sports betting, five states now offer legal, regulated sports betting markets. After more than two decades of stagnation at the federal level, it took four states fewer than four months to roll out licensing and regulatory systems for the activity.

  • Free-Market Groups Urge Congress to Eliminate, Not Expand, Electric Vehicle Tax Credits

    September 20, 2018

    In a joint letter released this week, thirty free market groups urged House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) to oppose “any effort to expand the current electric vehicle tax credit in any way.” The federal government currently provides a tax credit of up to $7,500 for the purchase of a plug-in electric vehicle. The credit begins to phase out for a manufacturer’s EVs when 200,000 of those vehicles have been sold in U.S. markets.

  • The Financial Crisis 10 Years Later: What's Changed?

    September 14, 2018

    Ten years ago, the United States plunged into a financial crisis that would bring the world economy to the brink of collapse. The housing bubble was overwhelmingly a result of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s reckless departure from tried and true underwriting practices, the Federal Reserve’s expansionary monetary policy, and state zoning and land-use laws that restricted the supply of housing. So, what has been accomplished over the past 10 years to rein in these policies? Unfortunately, very little.

  • Zoning Laws Are Holding Back America's Cities

    September 14, 2018

    The options we have for housing are determined, in part, by the houses and apartment buildings that developers choose to build. But what they are allowed to build is controlled, in turn, by varying zoning laws across the country. The zoning code a city or town chooses to adopt can have a dramatic effect on what's possible...and what's affordable. 

  • The Financial Crisis 10 Years Later: Restrictions on Housing Supply Makes Matters Worse

    September 13, 2018

    The broader financial crisis of 2007-2008 was the result of the U.S residential housing market collapse. That housing collapse itself was a consequence of an unprecedented number of weak and risky mortgages, driven predominately by the government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. When many of these mortgage holders defaulted, the mortgage-backed securities held by financial institutions around the world also buckled, leading to the financial crisis.

  • The Financial Crisis 10 Years Later: Fannie and Freddie Fueled the Subprime Mortgage Bubble

    September 12, 2018

    If anything symbolizes the American dream, it is homeownership—an asset that is viewed as part of a route from poverty and exclusion to independence and responsibility. However, as detailed in Part I, for over a century, state and federal governments worked to racially segregate American neighborhoods, promoting homeownership for whites while denying it for African-Americans.

  • The Financial Crisis 10 Years Later: A Legacy of Racist Government Housing Policy

    September 11, 2018

    A decade ago this Saturday, the world shook as Lehman Brothers, the fourth-largest investment bank in the United States, filed for bankruptcy. Representing one of the most dramatic episodes of the financial crisis, the date September 15, 2008, will live in infamy as the world economy was brought to the brink of collapse.

  • Democratic Attorneys General Wrong on Fair Lending Laws

    September 7, 2018

    On Wednesday, a coalition of fourteen Democratic attorneys generals wrote a letter to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection urging the acting director, Mick Mulvaney, to reconsider the reinterpretation of a fair lending law, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Among other things, the letter claims that it would be illegal for the Bureau to rescind provisions of ECOA relating to the disparate impact standard of liability, because the statute, affirmed by Supreme Court precedent, includes language authorizing the disparate impact standard.

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